Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Paley Center For Media in 2019.
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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has done an about-face on remote work.The company is putting in place detailed and mandatory rules for in-office and remote work. See new rules on badge tracking, monthly evaluations, and remote workers only allowed in-office a few days per quarter.
Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg used to say remote work was the way of the future. Now, he’s implementing an aggressive return-to-office mandate.
The company formerly known as Facebook on Thursday laid out for employees its updated policy on RTO – or what head of HR Lori Goler referred to in a note as its “In-Person Time Policy” – to take effect September 5, as Insider first reported.
Meta initially revealed to workers in June that it planned to have people back in the office this year at least three days a week.
Under the new guidelines issued Thursday, Meta made clear that office attendance is strictly mandatory for everyone that is not approved for fully remote work. Workers need to be in their assigned offices most of the week.
They will be monitored by their managers and have attendance tracked by the company. Those who flout the new rules risk “termination,” or being fired, Goler’s note said. It could also impact their performance reviews, which have already become harsher.
Meta’s RTO policy is now as stringent as Amazon’s, which has taken a very firm stance on people returning to the office. Under CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon is also forcing people back to work in their assigned office at least three days a week, despite having no data to back up the move. Google has also said staff who don’t work in-office at least three days a week could see their performance reviews impacted – a move that has frustrated many employees.
Zuckerberg himself this year has emerged as a more hardened and Wall Street-appeasing CEO. His public discussion of the metaverse has turned away from an initial desire for his ambitious virtual world to bring about a new era of remote work.
Meta is still allowing employees hired in fully remote roles, or those already approved for fully remote work, to continue working that way. Anyone else who wishes to work remotely will need to formally apply and be approved, with considerations including how long they’ve worked at the company and their performance reviews. No one with less than 18 months tenure at Meta will be allowed to work remotely.
“They don’t seem to be fucking around,” a current employee said.
Meta’s guidelines appear to be tailored specifically to avoid remote workers having their cake, and eating it, too. Literally. Employees who are fully remote can only come into the office, which includes access to Meta’s cafeteria and catered meals, a few days each quarter.
See below for a complete list of Meta’s new rules for in-office and remote work:
-Starting September 5, all employees with an assigned office are required to work in an office or “in person” at least three days each week.
-In-person work can include things like meetings with clients.
-Meanwhile, employees already approved for remote work are prohibited from coming into an office more than four days every two months outside of a “clear business reason,” such as a company onsite event or a mandatory meeting.
-Some leaders of individual orgs and teams within Meta will be able to decide which days of the week are ‘preferred’ for in-office work, or an “org-specific location strategy.” That process is ongoing. Employees are expected to adhere to any such set schedule.
-A remote employee who is working in a location that ends up outside of an orgs location strategy will not be expected to relocate. Org location strategy will be used to guide future hiring and transfer decisions.
-Remote work overall will be limited to “rare, approved candidate exceptions.”
-Meta will be tracking data from employees’ badges, or the ID cards used to enter and exit offices and certain areas within offices, to ensure compliance with the RTO and remote work policies.
-Managers will be tracking employees’ “badge data.” Managers will also be tracking each employee’s Status Tool, an internal tool for employees to display where they are working, which is now expected to be updated at all times. Both will be evaluated monthly, for in-office and remote workers, and employees found to be non-compliant will be notified.
-If an employee is found to be not following the RTO rules, it will likely impact their twice-yearly performance evaluation and it may lead to disciplinary action or termination.
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